2008 MIT-Lemelson prize

May 22, 2008 at 11:55 pm Leave a comment

A huge part of the world’s population is too poor to pay for synthetic materials that we consider cheap and plentiful. Whether chemists can design green routes to low-cost and sustainably produced materials is an unanswered question, so it is helpful (and inspiring) to look at sustainable solutions from other fields.

The 2008 MIT-Lemelson Awardd for Sustainability was given to Martin Fisher for his design, marketing, and distribution of powerful low-cost water pumps that allow subsistence farmers to grow more crops and raise their standard of living. Link and partial story follows:As a child in upstate New York, Martin Fisher often spent time in his family’s basement building things, taking things apart, and putting them back together. He wanted to understand how they worked – and how he could make them better. It’s a trait that has served him well as an inventor and social entrepreneur.

Fisher has applied his passion for improving things to the challenge of eliminating poverty in rural Africa. In collaboration with co-workers, he has invented low-cost, human-powered irrigation pumps and other simple moneymaking tools, coupled with a sustainable and replicable supply-chain model that enables subsistence farmers to use the equipment to become self-reliant entrepreneurs. read more …


Entry filed under: In the News.

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